The Tourism program at the University of Waterloo provides a unique education. You will be part of a graduate program that integrates the social, cultural, environmental, economic and political perspectives on tourism.
This 2-year program, offered jointly by the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies and the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, provides a constructive, critical, and interdisciplinary education that will prepare you for careers in government, business, tourism and recreation planning, and consulting.
You will interact with professors with strong local, national and international research links from a variety of disciplines.
Students can register in either:
- the Department of Geography and Environmental Management for a Master of Environmental Studies (MES) or
- the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies for a Master of Arts (MA).
Normally a faculty member in their home Faculty will advise students. Although students will pursue 1 of the 2 Master's degrees, they will follow a similar course of study regardless of their home Faculty.
- Degree requirements & Graduate courses
- Admission requirements
- Financial support for graduate students
- How to apply
The overall objective of the Master’s program in Tourism is to provide a range of adaptable and transferable skills, which will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. This general objective is supported by several specific objectives:
- To equip students with a broad knowledge of theory and research in tourism.
- To provide a strong research component focused on the needs and critical evaluation of tourism.
- To prepare students for research and administrative careers in the public and private sectors.
- To encourage originality and creativity.
Five graduate-level courses are required over the course of the 2-year program. Courses are taken from both the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies and the Department of Geography and Environmental Management.
Students will be required to write a thesis and will have an option to undertake an internship/practicum for credit. Students will be required to complete at least 1 of the 2 methods courses. Tourism 602 and Tourism 603 will provide the students with a foundation in conceptual, empirical, and methodological issues specific to tourism.
Students must successfully complete at least 5 courses plus a thesis, as specified below. For detail, see course descriptions.
|Course category||Course name|
TOUR 602: Seminar on Tourism Research
TOUR 603: Sustainable Tourism
|Data analysis electives - one of the following:||
REC 672: The Analysis and Interpretation of Leisure Research Data
REC 673: Qualitative Research Data Analysis and Interpretation
|Substantive electives - two of the following:||
REC 615: Marketing, Consumer Behaviour, and Leisure Services
REC 630: Recreation Resource Administration and Development
REC 680: Dynamics of Tourism
REC 685: The Structure of Tourism
TOUR 601: Contemporary Perspectives on Tourism
TOUR 604: Social Planning for Tourism
REC 609/TOUR 609: Internship / Practicum
REC 697/TOUR 675: Selected Topics in Recreation and Leisure Resources / Selected Topics in Tourism
|Milestone:||Master's Thesis (normally supervised by Core or Supporting Faculty)|
Students are normally required to spend a minimum of 2 terms of full-time registration on campus (or equivalent part-time registration - 4 terms). Whatever variation is permitted from this normal schedule, all degree requirements must be completed within 2 years of initial registration. Time extensions are not normally granted.
The minimum admission requirements for Master's students will apply: 75% overall standing in the last two years of an Honours Bachelor's degree or equivalent. The usual categories of admission - regular, probationary, transitional, and qualifying - also apply. We require a minimum TOEFL score of 600 for students for whom English is not their first language.
For details, see Applying.
There are several types of financial support including:
- Scholarships and Research Assistantships
- Teaching and Research Assistantships
- Ontario Graduates Scholarships (OGS)
For other sources of support, please consult the University Graduate Calendar section on awards and financial aid.
February 1st is the deadline for applying to the Master's in Tourism program, though applications may be submitted past that date.
All applications are completed and submitted on-line. See application form.
Apply to either:
Faculty of Environment
Master of Environmental Studies (MES)
Contact: Lori McConnell
Faculty of Applied Health Sciences
Master of Arts (MA)
Contact: Tracy Taves
For further information, please contact Lori McConnell in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, Tracy Taves in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, or program coordinator Sanjay Nepal.
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